Sunday, 27 November 2016

Advent. First day.

Advent begins today. I can't begin with any words of my own, because Pete Greig's beautiful, lyrical words and The Piano Guys beautiful, lyrical rendering of 'O Come O Come Emmanuel' have filled my heart:

"God of all hope and light and colour, I ask you to come again into the darkness of our world. We need you more this year than ever.
Father God, since you love the world you have made, love us again with your presence. Give us again your son, that the darkness and crying and dying, would be displaced by his unexpected light and love and life.
Immanuel, come quickly to us again. Visit the lonely elderly and those in prison. Be born again in the divided town of Bethlehem. Become a refugee again in the sprawling camps of Lebanon and Greece. Return to rule in the dark streets of Aleppo. Come again to the frightened people of Ukraine, Yemen and North Korea. And please Lord Jesus, would you see my need too? Would you visit my home, my hopes my heart again this Advent?
Spirit of God, you who moved over the primordial chaos and somehow created beauty, create peace again from the chaos of our world. Intercede and groan for us at this time. Fill us with love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and self control. Make us agents of reconciliation. Anoint us again to take Good News to the poor, to proclaim this year - even this year - as the Jubilee of God's favour.
And so we carve you a dirty manger in the darkest corners of our lives today. We prepare a place for the community of heaven at our table - the true altar of our homes. Let the smell of baking bread fill this season. Let the dead red wine begin to breathe before the feast.
I choose quite defiantly to make space in the busyness and perfectionism of this season. It's time to change the dirty sheets in the spare room. In worship we will roll out some kind of red carpet for your reign in the streets where we dwell, we'll prepare a VIP reception in the places we work. We will join with the groaning of creation, praying the oldest, most desperate, most important words the church ever prayed:
Come quickly Lord Jesus.'

And so I pray for God to show me how, in my hectic world of school and gloomy tiredness in the dark of winter, when i find myself secretly longing to be in the clear light of New Zealand for a time, I can do something small which will fill my heart with God's purpose. 

A prayer for a sick girl.
Baking for a harried mother.
Kindness and flowers to an elderly friend. 

Pausing to take in the wonder of nature: sunrises, sunsets, birds in the garden and overhead.

Perhaps my prayer is already answered.

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